tv [untitled] September 11, 2012 4:30am-5:00am PDT
the intending -- light and i understand what will happen and i think it will have an impact particularly an uphill and downhill house, and what else is the design itself, i mean, there is a case to be made in my mind that you have to sort of honor the dominant architectural style of a neighborhood and not be so much at odds with it, i noticed that we have an 11th hour rendering here where we changed the colorings but we still don't have a pitch on the roof, there's no attempt to be con tech churl with the adjoining properties, not that that makes a difference because we have a size problem here anyway, but it would have been a lot better if we had at least tried to be somewhat con tex khaourl to the structures along there, people come from all over the world to
look at san francisco architecture, some people move here specifically because of the architecture, so we want to be like every place else and throw a bunch of structures that don't fit. there is a place for more contemporary architecture for other parts in the city but not in our historic areas where we should have something that fits in and i think to some degree, we have gone through a reverse evolution in architecture, if you look at these place that is were built in 1895 and 1909 and we don't seem to be able to do anything that has the same symmetry and balance and the grace were were able to do or we don't choose to do it, whether speed yens si or other things why we can't builtfinger i was in the adjacent house, the light was beautiful, if you put the window ins the right place and you design a house properly, you don't need all this glazing and just square
boxes, you can make things work really well, that's what they did for a few thousand years until recently, so anyway, i am definitely in favor of dr, whether there's a way that this could go back and be designed in such a way that there should be an additional floor, i don't know, i have my doubts, it would probably have to be redesigned quite a bit to be able to be, but i just don't think it fits on this particular lot given the fact that the size is so small. we'll see what the other commissioners have to say. >> commissioner hillis? >> i mean, i too like commissioner antonini are generally supportive of expanding the envelopes of buildings and development but i agree with him on a lot of the points and i think what's wrong is the size of the lots and the
size of the lots compared -- the existing lot here, the 20 foot lot here compare today the 50 foot lots of the adjacent buildings, the building that's there now and the design that's there now is great, it's an example of how you can put a modern building in this context as to older buildings, i think it works and i think it works contextually with the size of the lot and with the size of the lot adjacent to it but it goes a little too far in the expansion on that size of a lot for this building, so i would agree in taking up dr, i think the design of the new structure is great, it could work elsewhere, i don't think it works on this 20 foot lot adjacent to these buildings. could an addition work, sure, i think it probably could but i
don't think what's before us could. >> commissioner sugaya. >> i have a question, on the upper floor that's being questioned, you have a master bedroom, to the rear of the bedroom, the ceiling drops and -- but it still has enough head height, is that right. >> it's a code minimum but it drops and fits under the planning envelope. >> so, it is usable as bedroom space? >> yes. >> mr. moore? >> while i'm very concerned as well as sympathetic to the specialness to the setting, i'm looking at what staff is analyzing for us to look at. this is a code compliant project, it doesn't ask for exceptions or for variances or for any other things which would trigger it to be
exceptional or extraordinary and there is no restriction on a 20 foot lot in terms of far [inaudible] which are exceeded in what is proposed here, and i'm not even commenting as to whether or not or like this contempt rarely piece of architecture and i have to bite my tongue that i am completely enamored of it but that is not in front of me, it is a code compliant project which goes under a question of taste because we're not talking about the type of architecture we discussed a few weeks ago at pacific heights. having said that, i really need to look at circumstance, we have a building designed by the same architects which was approved. there's apparently nothing which documents that a future addition could not take place, so what is actually a rather
modest addition is not really that much of concern to me. unfortunately, i could say that the view from v*is ta park to the city which is a very significant view, it is not a protected view, it is not a protected view, and even when we have documented protective views in the city which are there few, unfortunately not enough, we have a hard time enforcing them or not making concessions when a building in order to be a building expansion comes in and asks us to consider what it means or doesn't mean. so, i have a very hard time dinging the project just based on the fact that i am not so enamored but it. i believe that the two buildings on either side and bonn na v*is ta park is one of the most spectacular settings of historic san francisco neighborhoods, and i think they are tourist destinations, i
love seeing the buildings, i commend anybody who has the energy and ability to live and maintain these buildings, but that does not put me on a bind to do something other than what i'm asked to do here. and i just want to leave with that and hear what my fellow other commissioners have to say. >> commissioner borden. >> commissioner moore, i completely agree with your sentiments, and hearing people, i was confused what project they were discussing, when you see the context and the dr requesters put on the screen of the two other buildings adjacent to this property you can see how modest this property is in comparison to these much larger building, it doesn't mean somebody else can't build up their building a bit. i really had a hard time understanding what the concern was, to me, there seems to be something personal about what
happened years ago with what people think should or should not have happened and that's not for me to judge, the personal issues that went on between neighbors or agreements that did or did not happen, but when i look at the context, i have a hard time understanding what the problem is other than there seems to be a disagreement that goes back several years and has come to a head again. commissioner moore's right, it's a code compliant project, it's a modest addition to a building that's already modern in context that sits in nicely, i've been in this property i know that this -- i mean, i just have a hard time understanding what's exceptional or extraordinary, the two buildings next door are extraordinary and exceptional but that doesn't mean that the project in between them are exceptional and extraordinary because the buildings next door happen to be wonderful, i loved hearing about the stories next door and the restoration that has taken place and i don't
understand how this project in between has anything to do with impacting those other buildings because it's already a modern context building that's been put into this place, so for me, i personally again, i'm sitting here not sure which hearing i was in, and i don't personally see any exceptional or extraordinary circumstances and i move to not take the dr and improve the project. >> second. >> commissioner sugaya. >> i'm going to argue against that motion. i think i agree that the buildings next door on both sides are historic and exceptional structures. it doesn't concern me that -- i guess it's the placement and the forwardness of the addition that bothers me and to staff, in other cases where we've been looking at additions to existing buildings, there's a great deal of emphasis on setting that upper floor back.
why wasn't that considered in this case? >> i'll address that. essentially, in those instances, we usually have a prevailing building plan that is usually two levels up on the street, you're adding a third storey, we required to be set back in this particular case, we don't really have that. the heights of the building, i mean, it's slightly set back for architectural character, but as far as requiring that it maintain like a 15 foot front setback, it was considered not appropriate by residents for this particular situation. >> okay, i understand that but that's a strict interpretation. you have a turid on one side, you have this kind of architectural detailing and
this is square and sticks out to the front, that's what bothers me about it. i don't mind having a third floor there, but i think it's the lack of some gesture to set that back, the first and second floors are below the roof lines of the other buildings and i think it would help to have a larger setback than what the architect currently is proposing. that particular space is identified as a study, yet it's shown as a bedroom. it doesn't have a bathroom attached to it, but there's a sink, there's other amenities, i understand that, but you know, if you could lose some square footage on the top, that would satisfy me. >> commissioner wu? >> in listening to the arguments today, i think it's always hard for me to hear that
you have to have a new addition to have a family in the city, i think that is not true. i think that there are families living in sro's, there's families living in really small homes, so the argument doesn't really hold with me. i just wanted to mention that, we've heard that in a lot of dr's, that said for this building though, seeing especially the front elevation of how far up the addition goes, the addition again -- or with some of the other commissioners, commissioners moore and borden, the addition doesn't bother me, it looks like it matches the buildings to either side of it. i could be supportive of some move to set back the top storey that may give some gesture to making it more diminished but again the hiekt of it, the addition itself is not a concern for me. >> commissioner antonini.
>> well, to argue that it's a code compliant project, of course every project that comes to us for dr is code compliant, but it's not that it's appropriate. i remember while i was first on the exhibition, we had a project that looked like some kind of a gas cylinder in the middle of i think -- i can't remember the neighborhood, and fortunately the commission disapproved it, it didn't fit at all. the other part of it, i agree with commissioner sugaya that while i don't think the additional floor is appropriate, it certainly, yes, it made an effort to not stick out and call attention to itself, it might be a little better if it was set back, you know, maybe 10 feet or 5 feet and then the roof was pitched to try to honor the style of all the others maybe with the a door or a peak pitch, then it would certainly be a little less intrusive, i mean, that's
one of the things, but i am voting against the motion and if it doesn't carry, i certainly will try to propose a continuance to go ahead and, you know, work on this to see if some things could be done to try to make it more acceptable, but i think probably i'm not in favor of just approving it in its present style. >> commissioner moore? >> listening to commissioner sugaya's comments, it is particularly this rendering where the rectangular third floor corner starts to really interfere with the strong rounded form of the torte on the adjoining property. i would be comfortable for the architect to pass comment as to whether or not that particular corner could be further enlarged so that there was a
full view of the corner of the adjacent building from the vantage point in which this particular rendering was taken and i was wondering if you could address that. >> do you want me to bring up that floor plan on that floor for assistance? >> without redesigning it, do you consider that to be a possibility? >> yeah, i do, yes. i would see it maybe as an angle rather than a notch, but diminish the corner off or something. >> does that address your concerns? >> what i'm thinking of is to bring the setback in line with the end of the stairway. with the end of the interior stair?
>> yeah, you would lose about five feet, six. >> you get about a 9 foot room, i think that's too much. i think you should go back about 2 and a half to three feet. i mean, you got to -- i mean, we're going from a one bedroom, one bathroom house to a cat and maybe one kid. >> back to my previous question which was at the end of the master bedroom where you lowered the ceiling, is that a master to scale? >> it was to break it up a little, yeah. i think, you know, if there were some compromises needed, that could be talked about as well. >> well, i don't know what the commission feels, but -- >> i mean, i'm the maker of the motion and there's enough people that said they would like to see some things, so tell me what. >> 5, 6. i mean, commissioner moore? >> i would like to say it would
have to be a realistic room, 9 feet is not -- >> i mean, to me, three feet seems to me more of a -- it gives you the setback visually what you're looking for, a total of five feet setback which we've done before on other projects. >> we're setting it back 2 and a half. >> this is being characterized as a study, not a bedroom. >> right, but the back part of the addition which is also a bedroom, the whole thing is one -- that room is one thing, the whole rest of the thing is the total addition. >> commissioner antonini. >> i think while we're trying to do the designing on the spot, it's pretty difficult, the number of immediate neighbors who have come out and expressed concerns and the impact this will have on the block, i really think we should continue, and i believe i'm going to make a motion to continue for about a month and see what we could work on based
on what has been said today instead of trying to chop a couple of feet off here and there. i think there is some serious design problems that need to be dealt with to be able to make this acceptable if it can be done. so, that's my motion which i think would take precedence if i have a second. >> a motion for continuance. is there a second? >> second. >> we have a motion for a continuance and a second which would be one month which would be october 4. >> mr. hillis? >> i was going to echo that. we didn't redesign a fourth floor addition, that was set back 15 feet on all sides today. i think this is a much -- you know, this is obviously an extremely sensitive area, i think the design works that's there now, but i think we have to see what the design would be like and what another floor on this building would look like and how it would look like in
the context instead of just loping off five feet here and there. >> yeah, that's what we're talking about, that's what's before us, so i would agree to continue it. >> commissioner sugaya? >> i guess i'll support a continuance, but i think that the commission is going to realize that the request for the dr is to deny the entire third floor, so that has to be understood to the neighbors that we're not considering loping off the entire floor at this point in any case, so i think the direction to the architect is to try to do something with a setback and come back with some additional, you know, additional proposal of some kind and if that's, you
know, -- rather than us saying it's going to be three feet or five feet or 4 foot 6 at this point or whatever it's going to be. >> commissioner borden. >> i personally don't support a continuance, i think we're pretty close here and i also believe that as we've stated, the neighbors are not interested in any addition whatsoever so it's not like giving more time will allow the neighbors to work with the projtd sponsor because they're clear they don't want a third floor, i think we've actually done more intensive redesign projects at this commission, i'm not saying it's my favorite thing to do but i think we're close because what we're talking about is a setback, and i think we have done that and we've reached a reasonable agreement on that and i think we can do that. i mean, right now, we are making it -- we're looking at what makes an acceptable setback to make that difference for the impact of the turet next door and i think we can
figure that out but i think that continuing it doesn't serve anyone really well because it's not like the public project with the people involved is going to improve and we're back to where we are debating whether what the architect suggests is what it should be so i think it's best for us to deal with it today and figure it out. >> commissioner hillis. >> i still support a continuance, i would support possibly, i'm not saying i'm in favor of a third floor, again, i think the building works as it is, i'm troubled by the third floor and i have concerns about the third floor, so -- >> can i make one process recommendation? i've been through a lot of this and if you could approve it today with some reduction or increase in the setback where we are charged to work with staff which we've done pretty well i think for 16 months, i'm just saying that could be -- >> and again, i would not
support that but maybe you would have the votes. >> commissioner antonini. >> no, i don't support that and i do not like the idea of the third floor, however, i don't believe there are enough vote tos deny the project today, but perhaps if it looks as though we're not going to be able to deny the third floor entirely, maybe the neighbors would have to work with the architect and with the project sponsor to design something that's more appropriate for the space, it's going to take at least a month to do that because just chopping a little off the front is not going to work for me and i hope we have four votes to deny it if it comes back that way, so if you're going to really make this into something that's appropriate, maybe it will work. i still think the third floor is not appropriate, it's too narrow a lot, if i don't have three other commissioners that
concur with my sentiments, then we can make it better. >> commissioner sugaya? >> well, as commissioner borden says we're close but we can't figure out what the distance will be, here's an arbitrary way to do it is to take the building to -- with the turet, not the turet itself but there's a corner to that house, if you extend that north or whatever direction it is to your house, that would be the setback. it's about three feet. >> i think you're right, i think that's about three feet, plus or minus, it's probably not going to make any significant difference from the street, three feet, two, two foot 10, three foot 6, whatever it is. >> i would have to talk to martin and stephanie, from my perspective, that sounds like a
resolution you guys could probably work with and i support it. let me say one thing, this building stepping back a little and being changed somewhat, i usually am in support of that, it usually does make a project better so i think that's a good idea but i think the material difference to the dr proponents is very small, so worrying about every little thing i appreciate as an architect, as far as the opposition goes, i don't think it's going to change their position whatsoever. >> i concur, i don't think the dr requests are amenable as commissioner borden says to renegotiating or talking about this. >> i think we understanding it's pleasing the commission at this point. >> commissioner moore? >> there's a fundamental difference in opinion about the existing building, i think the best thing that can happen to this addition is the original architect continues to design the addition. i think the merit of how this moves forward is in that very
fact, and i don't think it helps us to try to redesign the building based on making it more contextual between modern architecture and this architecture is no contextual differences, it wouldn't matter, it could make it worse, so to find side lao*ins which indeed give the other building because of its size and its age visual prominence i think will make in the general feeling of what this building delivers when the third floor is added and i support those commissioners who indeed are in favor with that idea. >> commissioner antonini. >> well, rather than conjecturing of whether the neighbors will work with project sponsor or not, i think we're better off to give them a month, almost all of the neighbors that spoke in favor of the dr were here today, they heard this. i think they realize that it
looks that despite my best efforts and of some of the commissioner, we're not going to loft that third floor off unless there's a change of heart on the commission in the next minute or so, but i think it's better than having something that's done quick and sloppy, get a month to get them to work on it and get a better result, so i will speak towards the continued wans, let's see what happens. >> back to you guys? >> no, you have to come back to us. >> i'm just clearing that up, okay. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor that you have to take action on first is for continuance for one month. i would assume that that motion includes that when it comes back, it would be an open hearing? >> yes. >> on that motion, commissioner antimony. >> aye. >> commissioner borden? >> no. >> commissioner hillis?
>> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> no. >> commissioner [inaudible]. er >> aye. >> that motion failed on a four to three vote. >> commissioner borden? >> so, i move to take dr per commissioner sugaya's suggestion, move the addition back three feet and ask that staff continue to work with the architect to sculpt the addition that we're trying to respect. >> second. >> any discussion? >> call the question, please. >> i'd like it to reflect that we're talking about the end of the house, the turet house in that corner. >> closest to the turet. >> so, it's approximately three feet. >> can we get the overhead on.
>> [inaudible]. >> yup. >> okay. >> commissioner, the motion on the floor is to -- >> just a point of information from project architecture and project sponsors, there's been all this talk about taking the stair house off but many of the rendering has it on there, is it there or not? >> it is, but it moved and went down, it went from the north side which was close to mr. gains dormer over to the side which is more than 20 feet away from 601 and we reshaped the roof there so there was fewer steps up there and we brought it down so it went through the 16 months, it went through -- >> another thing that makes this particularly unattractive in my opinion is the fact that we have this flat roof with this tent stair house rather than having a pitch that hides that. i don't know if that's hobble but there may be a way to do
something on the top, take the green stuff off from there and put a pitch roof, that's my suggestion, whether it works or not, i don't know. >> i think it adds mass to the building, it's worse for the neighbors. >> there's a design question there too. >> yeah, i wouldn't do it. >> i wouldn't do it either. >> commissioners, the motion on the floor is to take dr, approve the project requiring that the project be set back on the side with the turet for approximately 3 feet, on that motion, commissioner antonini. >> no. >> commissioner borden. >> aye. >> commissioner hillis? >> no. >> commissioner moore? >> aye. >> commissioner wu? >> aye. >> commissioner fong? >> aye. that motion passed five to two with commissioners antonini and commissioner hillis voting against. thank you, commissioners, you are now on item number 6